AGI Releases Critical Needs Document for 2020

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With Election Day rapidly approaching, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and its federation of geoscience Member Societies have collaborated again to provide an overview of critical issues and policy recommendations for the next presidential administration, federal agencies, and the U.S. Congress. The 30-page document, Geosciences Supporting a Thriving Society in a Changing World, informs policymakers about ways that the geoscience community's knowledge, experience, and ingenuity can address society's most pressing issues. 

Every four years, AGI's Member Societies come together to develop a shared statement on the critical needs for society that the geoscience can directly address. The resulting document, commonly known as the Critical Needs Document, not only identifies needs but provides examples of how the geosciences address those challenges. The document is provided to presidential campaigns as well as key congressional committees and members with related interests.
The 2020 edition focuses on how the geosciences can address nine critical needs to support the recovery of the economy and position society for sustainable growth. Additionally, this year's edition includes both legislative timelines related to each focus area as well as a proxy data timeline reflecting the impacts of those policies.
The nine identified areas of critical needs are:
  • Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change
  • Ensuring Sufficient Supplies of Clean Water
  • Developing Energy to Power the Nation
  • Building Resiliency to Natural Hazards
  • Managing for Healthy and Productive Soils
  • Minerals for Modern Society
  • Expanding Opportunities and Mitigating Threats for Oceans and Coastal Areas
  • Managing Waste to Maintain a Healthy Environment
  • Training and Retaining a Diverse and Robust Workforce
"The geosciences play a crucial role in our ability to manage the challenges and opportunities in areas such as food, water, energy, infrastructure, population growth, climate change, and technology," said AGI Interim Executive Director Sharon Tahirkheli. "AGI and its Member Societies are proud to help inform the critical conversations taking place and vital decisions being made in policy arenas today."
To view the document, visit the AGI Geoscience Policy webpage at A printed version is available for purchase from at
About AGI
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit federation of scientific and professional associations that represents over a quarter-million geoscientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
AGI is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
The American Geosciences Institute represents and serves the geoscience community by providing collaborative leadership and information to connect Earth, science, and people.
AGI Contact:
Geoff Camphire, Communications